According to the work of Charles C. Johnson and Joel S. Gilbert, what we thought was just a racist campaign to get people out to vote in the Cochran vs McDaniel Mississippi Senate race was the tip of the iceberg. It now appears to be a vote buying scandal right out of the office of Thad Cochran himself:
Reverend Stevie Fielder, associate pastor at historic First Union Missionary Baptist Church and former official at Meridian’s redevelopment agency, says he delivered “hundreds or even thousands,” of blacks to the polls after being offered money and being assured by a Cochran campaign operative that Chris McDaniel was a racist. “They [the Cochran campaign] told me to offer blacks fifteen dollars each and to vote for Thad.”
Text messages released to Got News and a recorded interview with Reverend Fielder confirmed that Saleem Baird, a staffer with the Cochran campaign and current legislative aide to U.S. Senator Roger Wicker, and Cochran campaign manager, Kirk Sims, were involved in a $15 per vote cash bribery scheme to target members of the black community.
“They said they needed black votes,” said the Reverend Fielder on the phone. He says Baird told him to put “give the fifteen dollars in each envelope to people as they go in and vote. You know, not right outside of the polling place but he would actually recruit people with the $15 dollars and they would go in and vote.” Fielder said he received thousands of dollars in envelopes from Baird and distributed them accordingly. Fielder also says he went to the campaign office on another occasion to pick up $300 in cash and was among a room full of people who were doing the same thing he was.
There’s a lot more at GotNews, including the video interview with Reverend Fielder.
Click the image below to watch: